Below is the letter that will be printed and delivered to the Board Secretary on your behalf. Please read and click SUBMIT at the bottom of the page.
Public Employees' Retirement System
Division of Pensions and Benefits
50 West State Street
PO Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295
Re: Violation of P.L. 2011 Chapter 78
Dear Mr. Schwedes,
I am a member of the Public Employees' Retirement System.
I am writing because Gov. Christie’s executive order cutting pension funding is a clear violation of P.L. 2011 Chapter 78, which says that “[t]he State and all other applicable employers shall make their annual normal contribution to each system or fund…. The State and all other applicable employers shall also make their annual unfunded accrued liability contribution to each system or fund…. The annual normal contribution plus the annual unfunded accrued liability contribution shall together be the annual required contribution.” [All emphases added]
Further, P.L. 2011 Chapter 78 confers on fund members an explicit contractual right to both the benefit and the funding of that benefit. The law states that fund members have “…a contractual right to the annual required contribution amount being made…. The contractual right to the annual required contribution means that the employer or other public entity shall make the annual required contribution on a timely basis to help ensure that the retirement system is securely funded and that the retirement benefits to which the members are entitled by statute and in consideration for their public service and in compensation for their work will be paid upon retirement.”
The Governor’s failure to make the annual required contribution will infringe upon my contractual right. Therefore, I ask you to act on my behalf. The law authorizes the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System to take action to enforce the law, stating that the “failure of the State or any other public employer to make the annually required contribution shall be deemed to be an impairment of the contractual right of each employee. The Superior Court, Law Division shall have jurisdiction over any action brought by a member of any system or fund or any board of trustees to enforce the contractual right.”
The Board of Trustees has a responsibility to protect the financial interests of the plan without regard for politics. If permitted, the Governor’s intentional disregard for the law for this year and next will have a devastating impact on the fund’s integrity and viability. I ask that you act expeditiously to file suit against the State, the Governor and any other relevant party or parties in order to prevent the violation of my contractual right and any attendant harm that will be done to me by Gov. Christie’s failure to obey the law. I further ask that you appoint independent legal counsel to represent the Board in this action, as it would be a clear conflict for the Board to be represented by the Governor’s attorneys, who will be defending his action.
Please copy and distribute this letter to each member of the Board of Trustees. Please also advise me in writing of how the Board intends to act to protect my interests.